Ellie Hisama to Give SMT Plenary Lecture

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 4:00pm
Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio     map

Ellie Hisama will present “Getting to Count” on the plenary panel Reframing Music Theory at the Society for Music Theory’s annual meeting on Saturday, November 9 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. A description of her talk follows.

“In comparison with the American Musicological Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for Music theory remains a starkly male-identified society. According to the SMT’s 2018 annual report on demographics of its membership, 33.4% of SMT members self-identified as women—a figure that has not changed significantly over the last five years—in comparison to 51.2% of AMS members and 52.2% of SEM members. The NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates indicates that in 2013-2016, 26.4% of US PhDs in music theory and composition were women, marking a notable increase from 18.9% for the previous five-year period but hardly giving us bragging rights. The continued paucity of women, trans, and non-binary gender music theorists should be a huge concern to the Society. Demographic diversity is not only an issue of equity, but also yields innovation in research that enriches the field. As psychologists Abigail Stewart and Virginia Valian assert, ‘different interests and experiences give rise to different perspectives and ideas.’ Drawing on insights from women scholars and scholars of color in classics and philosophy, as well as reflections from and about female music theorists, this paper considers the importance of rethinking what gets to count as music theory; the necessity for some scholars of finding disciplinary homes outside music theory; and the possibility of doing music theoretical work that, in feminist writer Sara Ahmed’s words, ‘is in touch with the world.’”

Further info can be found on the conference website.